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Hung verdicts to slim NDA majority — what opinion polls have said about Lok Sabha elections

The surveys were all conducted between January and April this year and their tone changed from hung verdicts to a wafer-thin majority for the NDA.

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New Delhi: A few hours from now, just as the seventh and final phase of elections winds down, bringing to an end polling for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, news channels will begin telecasting exit polls, predicting the likely outcome of the elections.

Before the exit poll results start pouring in, ThePrint looks at what most of the pre-poll surveys between January and April 2019 had predicted.

From hung verdict to thin majority

There was a distinct trend in the news channel-led surveys conducted between January and April by India Today-Karvy, ABP News-C Voter, Times Now-VMR, Zee News Taas, Republic TV -C Voter, Zee 24 Taas.

In January, all pre-poll surveys predicted a hung Parliament, suggesting that no single party or alliance will breach the 272 mark — the majority in the 543-seat Parliament.

By March, India TV-CNX and Times Now-VMR bucked the trend, predicting a thin majority for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). All other pre-poll surveys continued with their hung Parliament verdict.

By April, however, nearly all of the pre-poll surveys were on the same page, with most of them saying the NDA would get a thin majority.

The hung verdicts of January

The India Today-Karvy Mood of the Nation poll in January gave the NDA 237 seats, a loss of 99 seats compared to the 336 it managed in 2014. The survey gave the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 166 seats, a gain of 100 seats from the 66 it managed in 2014, and the others 140 seats.

The Times Now-VMR survey, conducted between 14 January and 25 January, predicted that the NDA was likely to win 252 seats if elections were to be held in January while giving the UPA 146 seats and the others another 145.

The survey also predicted that the NDA would suffer huge losses in Uttar Pradesh, with its seat count coming down to 27 from 73 in 2014. The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance was likely to get 51 of the 80 seats, the survey had said.

The ABP News-C Voter survey also predicted a hung Parliament, giving 233 seats to the NDA and 167 seats to the UPA.

Also readBJP likely to win over 300 seats in 2019, shows party’s own survey

The March sway

Majority of the pre-poll surveys conducted in March by and large reflected the trend of January, with none of the parties and their alliances getting a majority to form the government.

Only two pre-poll surveys — India TV-CNX and Times Now-VMR — gave the NDA a thin majority. The India TV-CNX survey said the NDA was likely to win 285 seats, 13 more than the halfway mark of 272 while giving UPA 126 seats and 132 seats to others.

The Times Now-VMR survey gave 283 seats to NDA — 11 more than the half-way mark — 135 seats to the UPA and 125 seats to others. The Times Now-VMR survey attributed the changed scenario mainly to the Balakot air strike, which the Modi government carried out to destroy terror launchpads in Pakistan after the Pulwama attack on 14 February, which killed 40 CRPF jawans.

Three other surveys conducted by Zee24 Taas, Republic TV-C Voter and News Nation predicted a hung Parliament. All the surveys, however, projected that the NDA would still emerge with the maximum number of seats.

Zee24 Taas, a Marathi news channel, gave 264 seats to the NDA, 165 seats to UPA and 114 to others.

The News Nation pre-poll survey handed the NDA 270 seats, 134 seats for UPA and 139 for others.

The News Nation survey also found that 47 per cent of the respondents were all for Narendra Modi as prime minister while 55 per cent of the respondents said there was no one to match Modi’s stature.

The Republic TV-C Voter too predicted a hung Parliament with the maximum number of seats, 264, for the NDA. It gave the UPA 141 seats despite the Congress winning in three states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — in December 2018.

The NDA wave of April

By April, the mood seemed to have changed in favour of the NDA with opinion polls predicting that the BJP-led front would form the government despite getting a wafer-thin majority.

The Times Now-VMR survey gave 279 seats to the NDA, 149 seats to UPA and 115 seats to the others.

The India TV-CNX opinion poll on 6 April gave 275 seats to the NDA, 126 seats to UPA and 142 seats to others.

Also readWhy even 200 seats for BJP can keep the stress level high for Modi and Shah this election


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  1. Hung verdict and COMPLETE ROUT of the NDA are the two possibilities according to me. The BJP will do “shockingly” badly, and so will the Akalis in Punjab. I am surprised how any poll pundit can give any chance to the BJP. Actually I don’t blame them, because they earn their relevance through intellectual jugglery, and that is what they have to keep doing to justify their jobs. My only argument is, Modi government has made the poor more miserably poor, and they are an overwhelming majority, and they are the ones who decide.

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